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Tourism Development Fund to end debt financing if target met: Manager

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CNA photo Feb. 8, 2024

Taipei, March 3 (CNA) The government's tourism promotion fund is expected to end debt financing one year ahead of schedule, if the tourist arrival target of 12 million for this year is reached, the Tourism Administration said in a statement Sunday.

With rebounding inbound tourist arrivals amid easing COVID-19 restrictions, the revenue of the Tourism Development Fund has increased, according to the administration, which manages the fund.

Statistics published by the agency showed that more than 6.48 million tourists visited Taiwan last year, with Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and South Korea the largest sources of visitors.

The Tourism Development Fund generated NT$5.866 billion (US$185.76 million) in revenue last year excluding the special government budget, which was about 70 percent of the pre-COVID average revenue of NT$6.1 billion. Current book debt is NT$400 million, the administration said.

In addition to the government budget, the main financial resources of the Fund include airport service fees, rental and royalty income from land owned by the administration, national scenic area admission tickets, parking, cleaning and maintenance fees, shop rentals and other income.

The agency indicated that although the Fund bottomed out during the pandemic, it was also very economical, so book losses were far less than expected.

If the target of 12 million tourists visiting Taiwan is achieved this year, the Fund is expected to break even early, allowing debt borrowing to ended earlier than scheduled, it added.

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